Those of you who follow our website have noticed that we have been quiet lately. We have been busy, so here is an update on what has been going on around Redeemer Classical School.
In March, the governor ordered all schools to close. This was a blow to everyone involved with the school. We understand that real education, the formation of souls and ordering of loves, can only be done in its highest form in person. The faculty immediately set to work to make the best of a bad situation. With the hard work of parents, students, and teachers, we did well.
So, the school has been closed physically for the last few months, but all our teachers have been busy! Here are a few of the things we were doing.
Making Video Lessons
From Latin to art and geometry to Church Fathers, we recorded hundreds of video lectures. Some of them came out well and can still be seen on our youtube channel.
Putting Together Home Education Packets
Each week we sent home packets of assignments and materials to help the students and parents continue their work at home. While we had to cut some of the content we would normally teach, the parents did manage to do a great deal of work at home with their children each day. To give you an idea, this was our assignment sheet from the last week:
Leading Video Classes
Completing assignments and getting grades was not enough for our students. They demanded that we have classes again, so we set up daily video chat classes to discuss one of their assignments for the day. Typically, one teacher would lead a discussion of literature they were reading or history they had been studying.
As soon as it was legal to do so, we offered private tutoring to any families that needed it. This really helped some of our students to get over that last hill at the end of the year. We were also grateful as teachers to be able to look our students in the eye again, to teach them face to face.
A Shakespeare Play to Cap the Year
Closing the last zoom meeting was an inadequate way to end the school year, so we hosted a social event on the last Friday of school and screened Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar (the 1953 movie version), complete with low tables and Roman style food and drink. The students had been reading the play for the last couple of weeks and it was a delight to see it performed masterfully with them.
As everything seemed to be coming apart, we doubled down on teaching the eternal truths that are central to our mission here, focusing on the theology, history, language, and mathematics that will help our students to rightly understand the world regardless of the turmoil that will continue to exist. There will always be plagues, violence, and death in this valley of sorrow.
Our goal was and is to lead children into the eternal truths that comfort us in these times: that we do not live merely to keep our bodies alive, that God uses suffering to lead His own to a hope that does not disappoint and that these present sufferings are nothing compared to the glories that are to come, that there is still Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the world for those brave and hard-working enough to find it, that we are immortals and that we had better learn to act like it. Shut down or not, this is what we teach. We will be back next year offering more of the same – this time in person.